The “Spring Blossom” Dress

This week, the traveling lace goes its farthest distance — to the Charlotte Dymock from Tuppence Ha'penny in the UK. Another sewing/vintage blogger with an incredible eye to details, Charlotte's fabric reproductions over at Spoonflower are quite inspiring! Thanks to Charlotte for participating in A Common Thread and sharing this totally romantic dress with The Sew Weekly!

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The Facts

Advance2515 Fabric: Vintage rayon fabric, gift from a family friend; Dupioni silk £14/metre, C&H Fabrics
Pattern: Advance 2515, in my stash (about $15 from ebay, as I recall)
Year: early 40s
Notions: Lace from Mena, metal zip from a bundle I got on etsy $1, silk thread £1.99, cotton thread £1.49.
Time to complete: About a week – I sew in very small increments so it's hard to keep track of actual hours spent.
Wear again? Definitely!

Total cost: about $33

When Mena contacted me about this project I jumped at the chance to be involved with the Sew Weekly. I was especially excited – if, I confess, a little intimidated – when I realised I would feature alongside Gertie, Casey, Lauren et al, 'celebrity' bloggers whom I've long looked up to. I'm very much a novice seamstress, so I must admit to feeling the pressure to live up to the quality of the Sew Weekly and the other contributors. I hope that with my Spring Blossom dress I've achieved this!

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The fabric is a vintage dusky pink rayon shadow stripe seersucker with a rather Art Deco looking print. It's been hanging around my work room for some months now, ever since my mother brought it down with a few items a family friend was clearing out. I'd earmarked it for various patterns in my stash – I wanted to do this lovely fabric justice with a great 1940s pattern – before finally settling on Advance 2515 from the early 40s. I had originally planned to omit the lace on the collar and cuffs, but When Mena's lace arrived I knew this would be the perfect use for it. I selected dupioni silk for the contrast collar and cuffs (I'd planned on using a matte cotton shirting, but my local fabric shop didn't have any in ivory. In the end I quite like the contrast in textures that the silk gives).

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The pattern I bought on ebay some time ago. I generally favour late 30s / early 40s fashions, and I get particularly excited about patterns from that period which feature shoulder yokes and gathered detailing – I've got a difficult body shape to dress, and I think these construction details flatter my figure.

Rather than use the trim flat I decided to machine gather the lace, then hand stitched it to the edges of the collar and cuffs. I think it completes a very feminine forties frock.

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I work very slowly, but the dress itself came together pretty quickly and easily in terms of actual sewing. After making a fairly basic muslin of the bodice and skirt I made a couple of minor changes to the pattern – I adjusted the bodice slightly to add more room to the bust area and lengthen it a little, and shortened the skirt a couple of inches (my first time using the 'correct' method of taking length out of the middle so I didn't lose the fullness at the hem).

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I'm so excited to have made this dress! So I'd like to thank Mena very much for involving me in the project and giving me the push I needed to actually use this fabric and pattern. There's just one or two small finishing touches I need to make: tacking the neckline facing down (as you can see in the first photo!) and the sleeve cuffs up.

Author

Charlotte

24 Comments

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  1. BEAUTIFUL dress! I absolutely love it! The lace looks perfect on the collar (love the way it looks gathered!) And the dress is really flattering–I absolutely love the bodice details as well! Stunning background as well!

  2. So lovely!! The print is fantastic and I love the cut of this dress!!
    Also, shoes – where on Earth did you get those divine shoes?!?

  3. It’s delightful! Such a pretty style and I love the colors : ) I really like the release darts in the bodice and a 6-gore skirt is so flattering!

  4. You’re a novice? This looks amazing! I love how you styled it, and the color is just right for spring. Also, I must confess, I love the locations you’ve chosen!

  5. I love this !! it may just be my favorite of the travelling lace projects. I love the idea of gathering the lace, it looks completely different from the other projects shown. well done.

  6. Absolutely beautiful..You did a great job..the dress is beautiful and looks so good on you. Love your pictures too..great photography..

  7. What a beautiful dress!! You look smashing! :)

  8. Thanks! The shoes are from Marks & Spencer last year – they’re stocking a very similar style this year too. They’re super comfortable!

  9. Thanks! It’s my first time sewing a gored skirt, and I love the look.

  10. Thanks! I’m still pretty new to sewing – this is my fifth sewing project (four that I really count – one was just a quick halloween dress).

  11. Thanks! I’m lucky enough to live in a particularly picturesque part of the country down here in Sussex :)

  12. I love the lace detail!

  13. This as a beautiful dress both vintage yet modern. I love the picture of you walking down the cobblestone street, absolutely lovely! Your hair, lipstick, shoes, dress – perfection! The lace is perfectly worked in too!

  14. Your dress is beaituful, I love everything about it. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration.

  15. The gathering of the lace has given it a lovely fluttery appearance. Beautiful job on the dress – worth the wait I would think.

  16. Eeep! I love M&S! Thank you so much!

  17. That dress is precious, and your styling in the photos make it look like a real vintage piece. Great job!

  18. So lovely! I love what you did with the lace :)

  19. this dress is so femmanine and flattering, really beautifull. I knew instantly looking at the photos that you where in the uk, lovely!

  20. Such a charming dress and the setting is so pretty!

  21. I am in love with your dress – it’s an utterly gorgeous confection of pretty vintage-ness! :-)

  22. Its looks fantastic! you did such a great job, and serious score with the fabric, its just perfect for the dress!

  23. I’m glad to be finding these blogs where I can see other women making and wearing old style dresses to give me courage and confidence to do it also because I’m new to this and where I live, in the burbs outside NYC, nobody is dressed like this that I ever see so I’m excited for it, but a bit nervous what people will think of it on me. I have a 40s dress pattern and vintage fabric to boot, now I have to make it happen!